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Former Senator Ted Steven killed in Alaska plane crash

According to a CBS News report, Former Senator Ted Stevens was killed in the crash:

Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history who lost his seat after a corruption conviction that was later dismissed, was killed Tuesday in a small plane crash in Alaska. He was 86.

A family friend said Stevens was among five people killed in the crash in southwest Alaska.

In 1978, Stevens survived a Learjet crash in Anchorage that killed five people, including his first wife.

How sad. Prayers go out to his wife, family, and friends.

When the crash was first reported, news reports said that five of the nine people on board were killed. At that time we knew both former Senator Ted Stevens and former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe were on board and that the plane went down north of Dillingham but we didn't know anything more than that:

A plane carrying nine people - including former Sen. Ted Stevens and former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe - crashed in southwest Alaska, killing five people on board, authorities said Tuesday.

It was unclear whether Stevens or O'Keefe were among the dead.

Reports from officials in Alaska were that nine people were aboard the aircraft and that "it appears that there are five fatalities," NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz told The Associated Press in Washington.

A U.S. government official told The Associated Press that Alaska authorities have been told that Stevens, a former longtime Republican senator, was on the plane. The official, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, says Stevens' condition is unknown.

The federal official declined to be publicly identified because the crash response and investigation are under way.

Stevens was one of two survivors in a 1978 plane crash at Anchorage International Airport that killed his wife, Ann, and several others.

Andrew Malcolm of the LA  Times' Top of the Ticket provided some history:

Former Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens and ex-NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe were with seven others aboard a small aircraft that crashed Monday night in southwest Alaska.

Recovery operations were underway by the Alaska National Guard. Initial reports said five of the nine aboard had died. Their identities of the dead and survivors are not known yet.

The rugged wilds of Alaska can be a very dangerous place to fly over in small planes, which many do. Iconic social  commentator and comedian Will Rogers died in a plane crash there in 1935, as did Louisiana Democrat Thomas Hale Boggs Sr., then the House Majority Leader.

The plane carrying Boggs, the father of longtime broadcast commentator Cokie Roberts, disappeared there in 1972 enroute from Anchorage to Juneau to a campaign fundraiser and was never found.

Boggs was declared legally dead in 1973, along with a fellow passenger Rep. Nick Begich. If that last name sounds familiar, it should.That deceased congressman was the father of Mark Begich, a Democratic former Anchorage mayor who now holds Stevens' Senate seat.

Alaskans regularly fly small planes around the state because much of its over 3 million lakes. Some parts of the Alaska terrain is so rugged that it's nearly impossible to navigate with a vehicle. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said on Fox News that Alaska has more licensed private pilots per capita (she cited the statistic of approximately one in every 53 Alaskans is a licensed pilot) than anywhere else in the world, precisely because of the terrain.


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Comments (13)

The King of Pork is dead. L... (Below threshold)
Dane:

The King of Pork is dead. Long live the King of Pork.

"However, Stevens was also known for his fiery temper, the career-ending corruption trial and championing the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," a $400 million pork transportation project designed to link two remote islands."

I think you overstate his p... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I think you overstate his porkiness, Murtha was by far the KING ...

You should mention that Ste... (Below threshold)
John S:

You should mention that Stevens was cleared after the election because of a finding of prosecutor misconduct. Yet another Senate seat that the Democrats stole through outright fraud.

Is Journolista Sarah Spitz ... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

Is Journolista Sarah Spitz laughing about this, or is her conservative death fetish only over Rush Limbaugh?

May he rest in peace and hi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

May he rest in peace and his family find comfort. May people like Dane fine the ability to be civil at times when life and death issues come to the forefront.

I think most should examine the total cost of the "big dig" project in Boston to see real pork, waste and fraud. ww

Prayers for all t... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Prayers for all those involved in this tragedy.

RIP... (Below threshold)
914:

RIP

Willie, Dane has as much ch... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Willie, Dane has as much chance of learning to be civil at appropriate times as I do of not telling him to go fuck himself.

Hey, Dane! Go fuck yourself. Come back if you ever grow up.

UOG

Sorry Jeff, but no -- a mer... (Below threshold)

Sorry Jeff, but no -- a mere Congressman cannot possibly be as porky as someone who until 2008 had been in the Senate since before the Chicxulub impact.

Having had an opportunity few here had, to actually be one of Stevens' constituents for a few years, I will refrain from offering my opinion of his life or his career lest some accuse me of speaking ill of the dead. (Personally, I don't think telling the truth can be "speaking ill," but that's obviously not a popular view.)

He's gone but his cult will endure, because many Alaskans are still singing hosannas to Stevens when the sun comes up each morning -- since obviously he must have made it happen.

Again, someone going out of... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again, someone going out of his way to say he won't speak ill of someone lest he be found lacking, just imply's and impunes. Same damn thing. ww

RIP...He WAS one o... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

RIP...

He WAS one of the biggest porkers in the Senate although the REAL king was Robert "Sheets" Bryd.

Oh and id10t @#1, KGFYAYKWIMAIKYD

Glad to see the liberals pr... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Glad to see the liberals practicing all that 'sensitivity' they brag about.

About what you'd expect from a 10 year old playing on the computer when Mom and Dad aren't looking.

IT IS TRULY SAD FOR ANYONE ... (Below threshold)
TOM BOYLEN:

IT IS TRULY SAD FOR ANYONE TO DIE IN AN AIRPLANE CRASH. BUT, I AM FRUSTRATED THAT NO MENTION HAS BEEN MADE OF THE OTHER LIVES LOST IN THIS ACCIDENT. THESE FAMILIES ARE ALSO IN MOURNING AND THE MEDIA JUST GOES WILD BECAUSE OF A SENATOR'S PASSING.




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